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|Premiered:||18 July 1987 (“Toei Cartoon Festival”)|
|Running Time:||Approx. 46 minutes|
|Box Office:||Total Gross: Unknown
Net Earnings: ¥850 million (approx. US $5.67 million )
Attendance: 2.6 million
|Opening Animation:||“Mystical Adventure!” (Dragon Ball Movie 2 Animation)|
|Ending Animation:||“I’ll Give You Romance” (Dragon Ball Movie 2 Animation)|
VHS (11 December 1987 – Original Print / 21 July 1996 – Re-issue)
Betamax and 8mm Film (11 December 1987)
Dragon Box The Movies; Disc #02 (14 April 2006)
Dragon Ball The Movies Individual DVD Volume #16 (13 March 2009)
Dragon Ball The Movies Blu-ray Volume #08 (09 January 2019)
The movie premiered as part of the Summer 1987 “Toei Cartoon Festival” (東映まんがまつり; Tōei Manga Matsuri) on 18 July 1987, along with three other movies from the Saint Seiya, Hikari Sentai Maskman, and Chōjinki Metalder series. The “Toei Cartoon Festival” was established by Toei in 1969 as a way to showcase their popular children’s series as theatrical films during seasonal breaks in the school year: spring vacation, summer vacation, and winter vacation. In Japan, almost all schools below the university level run a three-term school year (trimester system) with a vacation period of several weeks to a month at the end of each trimester. The movies were screened together back-to-back in various cities across Japan, with a typical total running time of roughly three hours. Most festivals would last roughly one month, or as long as the seasonal vacation allowed. Tickets could be purchased at the theater, or discount tickets could be purchased in advance which covered the cost of admission, as well as a bonus item such as a promotional pamphlet describing the featured movies, and various other special presents, such as posters, paper hats, cards, and toys. Additional items, including the official theatrical pamphlet and a variety of other commemorative goods, were available for purchase at cinemas or by mail during this period.
Up until the Dragon Box DVD sets began being released in the early 2000s, the only Dragon Ball properties released to home video in Japan were the original seventeen theatrical films, most of which were available on VHS, LaserDisc, and 8mm film reels. These home video releases were a luxury for most fans, as they came at a rather high price point for the time. They were later re-released in 1996 to replace the then out-of-print VHS tapes with a lower price point and slightly different covers.
After releasing the entirety of the three Dragon Ball TV series, Toei released their fifth and final “Dragon Box”, which was entitled “Dragon Box The Movies”. The Dragon Box contained all seventeen original Dragon Ball movies presented in their theatrical 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. As a special bonus for the movie’s first DVD release, Toei dug through their vaults and included some of the movie’s original promotional material.
|Theatrical Preview (劇場予告)
Running Time: 25 seconds
Running Time: 1 minute, 10 seconds
Following the “Dragon Box”, Toei began releasing each movie individually on DVD. To help promote the sale of movie individual discs, Shueisha handed out a free promotional DVD highlighting the releases at Jump Festa 2009. The DVD contained promotional trailers for each movie which were narrated by veteran Dragon Ball cast member Shigeru Chiba, the voice of such notable characters as Pilaf, Garlic Jr. (TV series), and Raditz. More information about the promotional DVD is available in our “Home Video Guide”.
In July 2018, the original seventeen theatrical films were released on Japanese Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming services. The addition of the movies themselves was heavily promoted throughout social media, however it was not announced or promoted at the time that they were actually new, high-definition remasters of the films scanned, and subsequently remastered, from the original film negatives. Shortly thereafter on 09 August 2018, Toei Animation formally announced the release of these newly-remastered versions of the movies across eight Blu-ray volumes. All non-credit versions of the opening and endings included with the release are up-converts of those originally included on the original LaserDisc releases and all bonus promotional materials (trailers, digests, etc.) are presented in their original standard definition format as included in the Dragon Box release.
Goku heads to Kame House to train with Kame-Sen’nin, but when he arrives, Kame-Sen’nin is “busy”. Goku shouts in his ear, and finally gets his attention. Shortly after, Kuririn arrives on the island and requests that Kame-Sen’nin take him on as a student, as well. After some bribing, Kame-Sen’nin says he will accept one of them as a student, but only whichever one returns with the “Sleeping Princess”.
The boys set off toward Devil Castle, where the “Sleeping Princess” is said to be. Meanwhile, Bulma and the others tail Goku, but as they approach Devil Castle, they are attacked, and Bulma is kidnapped. After losing consciousness, Bulma wakes up in a lavish room. The owner of the castle, Lucifer, introduces himself and treats Bulma as an honored guest.
Goku and Kuririn sneak into the castle, but are soon swarmed by demons that have learned of their ambitions to take the “Sleeping Princess”. Lucifer escorts Bulma to a giant room, and informs Bulma that it is time to awaken the “Sleeping Princess”. As she is tied to a chair, Bulma realizes she is going to be used as a sacrifice. Suddenly, Goku’s and Kuririn’s battle with the demons crashes into the room. Goku ends up under an altar, where he finds the jewel known as the “Sleeping Princess”.
Lunch, a violent, blonde thief, rides into the room and quickly snatches the jewel from Goku. Goku gives chase, but after obtaining the jewel, he is forced to hand it over to Lucifer in exchange for Kuririn, who has been captured. Everyone is rounded up and encased in a wall of rock. Lucifer plans to use the jewel to power a beam cannon that he will use to destroy the sun. The “Sleeping Princess” is finally awakened with the light of the full moon, but this also triggers Goku’s transformation into a giant ape.
As Goku rampages through the castle, Pu’er eventually manages to cut off his tail, returning him to normal. Goku then takes on Lucifer and fires a Kamehameha at the beam cannon, destroying it. As it explodes, the out-of-control energy from the “Sleeping Princess” engulfs Lucifer, killing him. Everyone escapes, and the two boys return to Kame House with Lunch, who has transformed into a docile, dark-haired form. Kame-Sen’nin then accepts them both as his students. Kame-Sen’nin takes Lunch inside the house, but she suddenly sneezes and transforms back into her blonde form, riddling our heroes with bullets.
The following original character profiles were translated from Daizenshuu 6, with additional character design comments from the movie’s character designer, Minoru Maeda, as published in the “Design Lab” section of the “Dragon Box The Movies” Dragon Book.
In terms of his image… I suppose it’s Sally [the Witch]’s father. (laughs) Like with the shape of his hair. I made him a handsome man due to the nature of the tale, but this type of villain may actually be pretty rare in Dragon Ball.
— Minoru Maeda
The truth is, I took a character who appeared in Dr. Slump — Arale-chan and used him as-is for this butler.
— Minoru Maeda
For Ghastel’s clothes, I used the costume of ancient China as a reference. In contrast to Kinto-Un, he rides on balls of fire under his feet; this was the director’s idea.
— Minoru Maeda
I made them in the image of imps, or demons of hell, to resemble Ghastel. In order to have a flashy gunfight, I gave them machine guns in a deliberate [stylistic] mismatch.
— Minoru Maeda
Goku and Kuririn becoming pupils under Kame-Sen’nin and Yamcha’s objective of searching for the Dragon Balls are the same as the TV version. However, points such as seeking out the Sleeping Princess being a part of the training do not synch up with the timeline of the TV show.
— “Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 6: Movies & TV Specials” (p. 24)
All credits listed below are as originally presented in the theatrical film. All original credit errors have been corrected to maintain accurate spellings throughout the site. For more information and a complete listing of the series staff, visit the Production Guide.
The cast credits are listed in order of character importance within the series. For more detailed information about the series cast, visit the Cast Guide.